Balance from Within

by Katrine van Wyk

Adaptogens are a group of intelligent plants that works with the body. Instead of giving the body “fake” energy surges, the way coffee or sugar do, adaptogens improve the health of your adrenal system—the system that is in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress.

Adaptogenic plants can range from roots, leaves and berries to mushrooms, and they can be prepared and consumed in myriad combinations. Quickly summed up: Adaptogens help your body better adapt to stress!

Research suggests that adaptogens relieve stress by modulating the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, adaptogens can help you calm down and get grounded.

If you’re feeling run-down and worn-out, adaptogens can help get you back on your feet and ready to tackle the day again. When it feels as if life is coming at you at 200 miles an hour—adaptogens can be the trick up your sleeve that helps save the day by aiding your body in regulating cortisol levels and keeping you level headed and calm under pressure.

Adaptogens can even help you rest and sleep better so that you can perform better. Sleep is the first thing to tackle if you’re dealing with fatigue, burnout, low energy, cravings and weight gain. What’s truly wonderful is that these plants, aside from a few exceptions, are not stimulants like sugar, alcohol and caffeine; rather, they help stabilize and support your body to function well. They don’t draw from your body’s nutrient reserves and they won’t send you on a roller- coaster ride of energy highs and lows the way other common stress aids do.

Adaptogens can help you restore balance or prevent crashing during demanding and stressful times. These herbs work with your body so that no matter how the stressors are throwing your body out of whack, they help your system seek that state of homeostasis that it craves and strives for.

Adaptogens also boost immunity, increase focus and stamina, and may reduce the feeling of fatigue. They can help increase your energy levels and even boost your mood and sex drive. Adaptogens are ideal for whoever wants to boost their overall well-being, optimize their body’s function and feel great.

Golden Sunrise Shake

Serves One

Warming spices help boost circulation and kick-start digestion. The beautiful orange hue is thanks to turmeric and pumpkin, which provide anti-inflammatory support, fiber and comforting flavors.

1 cup nut milk

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon almond butter

1⁄2 cup pure pumpkin puree

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1⁄4 teaspoon astragalus

1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric 

Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender, adding pepper to taste, and blend on high speed
for about one minute, or until dates have dissolved and the mixture is well combined.

Please consult your doctor before ingesting any supplement.

Excerpted from Super Powders, and reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press. All rights reserved.

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